Monday, October 14, 2013

Zac Sucks at Telling Scary Stories

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a getting ready for Halloween party. It was very well done. It was a festive atmosphere and there was enough food to choke 13 yaks (give or take). As part of the invite we were asked to write a scary story or relate a paranormal activity. As I read this I felt dread welling up from pit of my stomach. To explain this you must know that a few years prior I had an incident as I attempted to tell a scary story. Now is not the time and place for that story though. I promise it isn't. So for this party I decided to give my story telling another go. Here is that story in its entirety.

Mine won't scar you like these did though.
As with many scary stories this one starts out with sheer stupidity.  Ron knew that breaking into an old house was a bad idea. He knew that trying to sleep on the hard, dank floor in there was going to be even worse. Why he let his friends talk him into this he didn't know. “I am such a pushover.” He muttered to himself, “I could be sleeping in a nice bed, but instead here I am breaking into the Hill House.” He didn't believe the stories of this place being haunted. It was just another run down old house that was in its last throes, trying to hold on to life before it would inevitably give in to the gentle threats of time and gravity. Ron would admit, however that the dilapidated structure did cause him some worry. What if the floor caved in on them? What if there was black mold? He didn't want to get sick or hurt, but the voice of prudence rarely won the day in a group of rowdy teens, and while they were a rambunctious lot, they were still his friends.

Edgar was the leader of their band. He was fearless in the face of just about anything. He had to be being the youngest of four brothers. That is in part what had led their merry group of adventurers up to the old ramshackle gates. Edgar’s oldest brother had been telling him stories for years about the Hill House. Ron didn't believe half of what Edgar’s brother Steve said, and he felt that the other half was likely suspect as well, but he went along with it because it usually led to an adventure.

Steve claimed that the house had been the home of a scientist named Dr. Sinclair. He told them that this doctor performed experiments that were an affront to God and science. He said that what he did in his lab was an attempt to help mankind evolve to a new stage of life, but the horrific screams that supposedly issued from the depths of the house said otherwise. Steve said that when the Doctor finally died the police had found dozens of strangely marked graves in the basement and each and every one contained a mutilated body from one of Sinclair’s projects. The headstone of each grave had just one phrase crudely carved in, “hell awaits” It was a good story to tell on a dark night, but it was nothing more than that.

Steve boasted that a few years prior he and some friends had entered the house and stayed for a few hours. In an attempt to outdo his brother, Edgar decided that we were going to spend the night in the Hill House. It seemed to Ron that Edgar was often a little liberal with his we’s, but instead of saying so he found himself approaching the front door a few days later.

The door opened with an ominous groan. As they shined their lights into the inky darkness, Ron thought the lights seemed to dim, as if the lights were faltering due to the malevolent force of the dark. Shrugging off such ridiculous thoughts he entered and put down his duffle bag. “I call the couch!” Edgar yelled. Ron didn't argue because the couch looked as though it had all the dust he had ever seen in his life accumulated on its surface. Ron grabbed a spot near a wall, not because he was a little scared, of course, but because of convenience.

After they settled in they decided that it was high time they explored this place. None of them had ever been in an abandoned house before and they wanted to make the most of it. Following their pattern of poor decisions they decided to split up to search the levels. Ron wanted to stay on this level, but Edgar grabbed him and said “looks like we get to go to the basement.”  Ron groaned internally, but he managed to smile and mutter “sounds good to me”. As they eased their way down the rickety stairs Ron felt as if he were being suffocated by the blackness that surrounded them. As they reached the bottom of the stairs Ron turned his light to the right and he felt a scream tear its way out of his throat. It was Brutus. He had been massacred.  

It was a twist worthy of this man. Make that early career this man.

Now I can tell that some of you are confused, and others are downright angry, but for the few of you out there that understand the ending you are welcome. Now for the rest of you I feel that an explanation is due. It all goes back to that fateful day a few years ago when I told the worst story of my life.

Let me set the scene. I was at a ward camp out. We had been having a good time playing night games and the like. It was decided that some scary stories were in order. Ricky told his great version of Hatchet Harry, and I decided to tackle the classic that is known as drip drip drip. If you have not heard that story, go to this link here and come back. We'll wait. Are you back? Okay good. In my version of the story it is a writer who has rented out a cabin that this happens to, but same basic idea.

So as I was going along I was giving it my all. I was doing quite the dramatic telling, but about a third the way in I realized that I had made a huge mistake. I had forgotten the serial killer on the loose. In my mind I wondered how I was going to fix this. I guess I could stop and say "Oh and there was this guy", but I didn't want to. I decided to tempt fate. I decided that I was going to just keep telling the story without this very important element.

I can feel you giving me this face. Stop judging me!

I can bet that most of you out there are already cringing for me. You can feel that this is not going to end well. You would be right. So I continue on with my telling of the tale and when I get to the dramatic climax where she discovers her dead dog I simply state that "It was Brutus. He had been massacred."  As the words left my mouth I could see the looks of confusion on everyone's faces. "How is that the ending?" they inquired. "Why is your story the worst?" I decided to be honest and tell them that I had initially forgotten a character and that my pride did not allow me to retrace my steps. Curse my pride! Their confusion at my story dissolved into riotous laughter, and a legend was born.

Now whenever I am up camping or there is simply a lull in a conversation I am always asked to tell the Brutus story. I have always refused because it is too painful to relive that moment, and you can't recreate such a thing. I have broken my rule (kind of) just to help you understand why my story ended the way it did. Maybe now I will finally be left in peace and the story of Brutus will become a faded memory.